Why Gaining Muscle is Important For Losing Fat (Not What You Think)

Maximizing your muscular girth is a key principle to optimizing your body’s shape. As discussed in my previous lessons, there is really no such thing as training for “tone”. Toning as people describe it literally means shrinking down fat cells to reveal the muscle mass underneath.

Common gym lore is that adding muscle mass is important while losing fat because “muscle burns more calories than fat”. While this is true, the numbers are insignificant. 1 pound of dry muscle burns about 6 calories while 1 pound of fat burns approximately 2 calories. Considering that the protein content of muscle makes up a small percentage of its total volume (muscle is mostly water), adding 5-10 pounds of dry muscle is significant for any non-drug using trainee. This amount would also require consistent hardcore training.

Putting the numbers to the test, if you were to reach this level, you’re only burning an extra 30 calories in a day. An amount in less than one half of a cookie.

The actual reason why muscle mass is important on a weight loss plan is simple: more muscle means getting the look you want at a higher body weight.


Why would people want to lose weight in the first place? To look or perform better or be “toned” as it were. Visually it refers to the loss of body fat. What maximizing your muscular size does is allow you to reach the “look” that you want without having to lose as much weight.

For example:

Woman 12o pounds

Lean mass 85 pounds

If she increases her lean mass to 90 pounds by increasing muscle, she would achieve her goal 5 pounds sooner. In other words, with the 5 pound increase in muscle, she wouldn’t have to worry about losing the last 5 pounds of fat to achieve her visual goal.

Another way of looking at it:

2 males, same skeletal structure and muscle fiber make-up:

Person A) 140 pounds muscle, 15 pounds fat

Person B) 160 pounds muscle, 15 pounds fat

Although the two people have the same total amount of body fat, Person B will actually appear more defined because the lean body weight is higher. It’s all about visual contrast.

Final note: the fear of “bulking” through weight-training is unwarranted, especially for women, which is ironic given that many women don’t want to “bulk up” through training (generally speaking). Other than Steroid users (past or present), the maximum amount of muscle mass a natural trainee can expect to gain would simply “fill out” the muscles, not turn you into the Hulk. The reason why women cannot become as muscular as men is that muscular gains are limited by Testosterone levels.

Happy Training

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